I know a thing or two about crowds. I know this is saying a lot; considering that I grew up in Pleasantville, Iowa…population 1,500. But you see, I work for an airline. Anyone who has ever flown on my airline knows that I should know a thing or two about crowds. It’s an airline for the masses. And our philosophy is that everyone should be able to fly. Crowds and all.
I don’t know that I agree. I know that my airline does not always have the least expensive tickets out there. It’s just that 95% of the time we have the least expensive tickets. This is wonderful for the flying public. Or is it? Just because most people can afford to fly does not mean that most people should fly.
Case in point: about a month ago I had this lady who stood at the door to the plane and held up the line while she went through her pre-boarding ritual…
(pause here. It is somewhat “normal” for people to perform their own “safety” rituals prior to stepping on the plane. i.e.–Kissing the outside of the plane, crossing themselves & kissing the outside of the plane, knocking on the outside of the plane & then kissing it, doing a visual inspection of the doorway & then kissing the outside of the plane. The dirtiest part of the plane is not the floor, it’s actually the outside of the plane right by the door. Look at it. It’s usually covered in grease and lipstick. Get the picture? end pause)
…however, her ritual was to stand at the door and tap her foot. It really was more like she was moving her whole foot up and down. I tried to get her to move forward. But, it wasn’t going to happen until she had finished exorcising the evil from the plane with her foot. Finally, she moved forward in her zombie-like state. She finally ended up standing in the aisle at row 8. I look back at the other stewardess (I like the glamour of that title). She was re-performing her ritual. Once we were able to get her into a row, she refused to sit–just standing in front of her middle seat tappin’ her “happy feet” away.
The short of this long story is that she ended up being asked to get off of the plane because she was disturbing everyone.
I talked to a stewardess friend several weeks later. He started to relay this same story. I couldn’t believe it. After the lady had been removed from my flight, she had been “kicked” off of several flights, and finally ended up on my friend’s flight. She proceeded to “exorcise” her “rites” all the way across the country.